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NVIC Defends Vaccine Exemptions

Posted: 1/26/2012 3:21:47 PM | with 7 comments

ALERT: Colorado Proposes Flu Shot Mandate for Healthcare Workers
The Colorado Board of Health will hold their final hearing on February 15th on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine. There is NO religious or personal exemption in the current version of the rule, despite the fact that these exemptions are available to schoolchildren. Time is running out and comments must be received by Feb. 1st, 2012. Learn more here
Read NVIC’s statement opposing proposed federal recommendations for flu shot mandates for health care workers here.
NVIC Helps Families in FL, KS, MS, VT Protect Vaccine Choices
On Thursday Virginia’s House began legislative measures to repeal the state’s HPV mandate. Currently residents of West Virginia can only obtain a medical exemption for vaccination.  A new bill introduced would expand exemptions to religious and conscientious reasons.  Parents in Kansas and Vermont are also fighting for vaccine exemption rights, along with those in Florida and Mississippi. Below are more state legislative alerts where families have an opportunity to make their voices heard!
NVIC’s free online Advocacy Portal is tracking it all and keeping people up-to-date on threats to vaccine exemption rights in their state. To learn more, click here.

Date Posted
Oppose SB1116 and HB1051 which push HPV vaccine on FL 6th graders
Contact HHS Committee Members to Support Conscientious Exemption Bill HB 2094
Contact Legislators to Support SB2007 which expands the Medical Exemption to Mandatory Vaccination
Support HB 1112 Repeal of HPV Vaccine Mandate for Female Children
Oppose S 199, a bill to ELIMINATE philosophical exemptions
Oppose, H527, a bill to ELIMANATE philosophical exemptions in Vermont

NJ & OSHA Reject Flu Shot Mandates for Healthcare Workers
New Jersey’s Governor Christie pocket vetoed a bill that would mandate flu vaccine for health care workers.  The governor used the pocket veto, which is the only way to veto a bill without returning it to the legislature for a possible vote to override the veto. Thanks to Rita Marie who posted this information on NVIC’s FaceBook wall. You can thank Governor Christie for his decisive action and NOT SIGNING this bill at (609) 777-2500 or (609) 292-6000.
OSHA Says “No” to Flu Shot Mandates Without Exemptions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a statement opposing mandatory flu shots for health care workers that do not contain exemptions for medical, religious and persona/philosophical belief reasons. OSHA stated:

     “ While we are supportive of the Healthy People 2020 goal of a 90% vaccination rate, we have seen no evidence that demonstrates that such a high rate is in fact necessary. Furthermore, the current influenza vaccine is no magic bullet. The current state of influenza vaccine technology requires annual reformulation and revaccination and the efficacy is quite variable. Every year there are numerous circulating strains of influenza that are not included in the vaccine. In years where the antigenic match is good, the vaccine only provides protection against the 3 strains in the formulation. In years when the antigenic match is poor, the vaccine may provide no protection at all. The limits of current influenza vaccine technology are especially problematic in the context of a mandatory influenza vaccination program that results in job loss. Lastly, reliance on a mandatory influenza vaccination policy may provide healthcare workers, health care facility management and patients with an unwarranted sense of security and result in poor adherence to other infection control practices that prevent all types of infections, not just influenza. Influenza vaccination has always been just one part of a comprehensive multi-layered infection control program.”  

OSHA’s complete position statement was submitted to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) last September and appears in the NVAC's certified minutes as Appendix B on page 25 here

NVIC in the Community
Feb. 2 - Talk at Portland Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 PM: NVIC Co-founder & President Barbara Loe Fisher will give a presentation on “Vaccination: The Right to Know & Freedom to Choose” at the Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Sponsored by Devine Chiropractic with all ticket proceeds donated to support NVIC’s public education programs. Tickets for $15 available at the door or on Ticketmaster.
Feb. 7 & 8 – Meeting of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC)The NVAC will meet to discuss and vote on recommendations to mandate that health care workers receive annual flu shots. These meetings are open to the public via telephone/webinar and can be attended in person in Washington D.C. Meeting details are posted in the Federal Register and pre-registration is required for public attendance, webinar, and public comments.
Written comments must be submitted at least five business days in advance to nvpo@hhs.gov and verbal comments periods are noted on the agenda and are welcomed. This meeting of the NVAC requires separate registration for the accompanying webinar for Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 and toll-free phone numbers and passcodes will be generated for each day when registering for the webinars. 
NVIC strongly encourages our readers, particularly those who are health care providers, to submit their written comments to the NVAC and/or offer verbal public comment during the meeting on Feb. 7.  NVIC has submitted a written statement to the NVAC opposing any mandate that doesn’t provide medical, religious and personal belief exemptions for health care workers. NVIC's statement and our website contain information that will be helpful to our readers as they consider submitting, or giving, public comment.  NVIC’s Executive Director, Theresa Wrangham will be on line to make NVIC’s public comment.
Feb. 9 IOM Meeting On Vaccine Study Feasibility: The Institute of Medicine’s new Committee on Assessment of Studies of Health Outcomes Related to the Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule will conduct an independent assessment surrounding the feasibility of studying health outcomes in children who were vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule and those who were not (e.g. children who were unvaccinated or vaccinated with an alternate schedule). The meeting is being held from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at the Pew Charitable Trust in Washington, D.C. and is open to the public with off-site phone access. A public perspective on the proposed study will be offered at 1 p.m. by NVIC’s president. Click here for latest information and to register.
The Health and Medical Division (HMD) of the National Academies (formerly IOM) committee will
 1) Review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule;
2) Identify potential research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could inform this question, including an assessment of the potential strengths and limitations of each approach, methodology and design, as well as the financial and ethical feasibility of doing them;
3) Issue a report summarizing their findings.
Radio & Blog Conversations About Pediatricians Firing Families: NVIC President, Barbara Loe Fisher, was interviewed on KWMR Radio about pediatricians firing parents from their practices for not following the AAP recommended vaccination schedule. She talked about individual susceptibility to vaccine reactions, injury and death and how important it is for parents to find a pediatrician, who will treat them with respect and be a partner, not an adversary, in making informed vaccination decisions for children. Below are links to the radio interview and blog conversations about pediatricians refusing to care for children if they have not gotten every dose of every AAP recommended vaccine.
The Parent Talk Program – KWMR Radio, January 22nd
Should Pediatricians Be Able to “Fire” Parents? – Baby Gizmo Blog (Mom’s Best Friend) – January 11th
Pediatricians dump vax-hesitant parents - Babes' Blog, January 4th
NVIC Website Highlight – The Vaccine Ingredient Calculator
By Theresa Wrangham, NVIC Executive Director
It is always exciting to share with our readers enhancements to our website. Over the past year we have changed our look to make your access to life-saving information easier. During 2012 there will be many enhancements that I will be sharing with you and I invite your feedback!
This month I want to share with you all the enhancements made to the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator (VIC) made by NVIC’s Volunteer Director of Database Management, Chris Downey, MS. Chris devotes many hours to improving the VIC’s features and keeping all the information on vaccine ingredients up-to-date.
As many of our veteran readers know, the VIC is meant to be used as an educational planning tool providing parents with easy access to information like ingredients contained in vaccines, federal safety guidelines that apply to ingredients and more to assist in the decision-making process.
When my children were young, I made many assumptions about the vaccines that were administered to them. For example, I didn’t know that for many vaccine ingredients there are no established safety limits. The VIC covers 16 ingredients contained in the vaccines recommended by the CDC's childhood immunization schedule.
The VIC computes exposures to aluminum, bovine protein, egg protein, formaldehyde, mercury (Thimerosal), mouse protein, phenol red, phenoxyethanol, polysorbate 80 and yeast protein contained in the vaccines recommended by the CDC for children. Parents can select the vaccines scheduled to be administered ahead of their scheduled appointments and learn which vaccine ingredients have safety limits, what those limits are and if a vaccine(s) given at any one time will exceed those safety limits. The VIC will also print your vaccination plan and provides a post vaccination record for parents to retain.
Enhancements that Chris has programmed into the VIC over the past year include: 
  • Facebook integration;
  • Improved dropdown displays for vaccine ingredients;
  • Human Protein and DNA computation;
  • Beta feature – Chart Explain, which provides details on vaccine ingredients;
  • New Quick View for DTaP and Influenza vaccines, which provide an overview chart of all ingredients in these vaccines;
  • Follow @VaxCalc on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what we’re learning as we continue to improve the VIC;
  • Added VIC Testimonials
  • New articles added to the Learning and Resource Centers;
We hope that these enhancements are helpful and that our readers will pass this information on to new parents considering vaccination.
Chris is working on further expanding the VIC in 2012 and looking for more ideas on what new features you would like to see. He could also use some assistance from experienced software and database developers, as well as beta testers. We are specifically looking for somebody with HTML5/JS/CSS3 skills. If you have a suggestion, or would be willing to help develop future improvement of the VIC, please email VaccineCalc@gmail.com.  
Next month I will tell you more about MedAlerts, which is another unique vaccine education feature of NVIC’s website.  
In The News

Study Finds Link Between Aluminum Adjuvant Toxicity & Autoimmunity“Immune challenges during early development, including those vaccine-induced, can lead to permanent detrimental alterations of the brain and immune function. Experimental evidence also shows that simultaneous administration of as little as two to three immune adjuvants can overcome genetic resistance to autoimmunity. In some developed countries, by the time children are 4 to 6 years old, they will have received a total of 126 antigenic compounds along with high amounts of aluminum (Al) adjuvants through routine vaccinations. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, safety assessments for vaccines have often not included appropriate toxicity studies because vaccines have not been viewed as inherently toxic.” Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA. Mechanisms of aluminum adjuvant toxicity and autoimmunity in pediatric populations. Lupus. (February 2012). 
Influenza Vaccine Investigator Guilty of Research Fraud - The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published findings from the General Medical Council (GMC) that found Dr. Iain Stephenson guilty of forging colleagues’ signature, asking a nurse to falsify a declaration, destroying log sheets and recruiting himself into a study under a false name.  As a result, the GMC has suspended Dr. Stephenson for four months. Read the BMJ article here, courtesy of the One-Click Group. 
Congress Withdraws SOPA, PIPA Anti-Piracy Measures - PIPA and SOPA were stopped in Congress thanks to HUGE protests from Google, Wikipedia and other internet based companies that mobilized consumer grassroots communication with Congress. SOPA and PIPA would have censored the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech, which is greatly valued by our readers. Read more here.

Posted: 1/26/2012 3:21:47 PM | with 7 comments


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